Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How Google Saved My Life

Over the past month I've been waking up some mornings with the strange urge to google search random things. I'm not talking I-wonder-what-the-capital-of-Mongolia-is strange ( it's Ulaanbaatar, in case you were wondering). I'm talking how-do-I-survive-a-dog-attack? strange and what-are-the-symptoms-of-bochulism? strange. I haven't had any dog attack or botulism related dreams, at least not that I can remember. In fact, the dreams I can remember have been remarkably mundane. But I still wake up with the need to know how to survive these life-threatening situations.

Well, it turns out to have paid off.

I was walking to school the other day and I suddenly noticed a very cute dog standing in the open doorway of a fenced-in yard (all the houses in Georgia have some sort of wall, gate, or fencing around their yards and homes. This results in the streets resembling a long, high walled wind tunnels). Telavi has a lot of stray dogs and dogs that probably belong to someone because you always see them near the same house, but they just wander around outside during the day. I've been here for about 2 months and I have not once met an unfriendly dog, and on one occasion I met an, erm, overly friendly dog. When I came upon this particular dog in the gateway I was startled at first not because of the dog, but simply because I hadn't been paying attention. When I saw the dog I paused and noticed that it had a thin, broken rope dangling from its neck and it had already been staring at me. I quickly took an inventory of everything I could remember from the eHow article on surviving a dog attack. I wasn't more than five feet away, so there was no way of avoiding the dog. I blinked to break eye contact and decided to walk on slowly in the direction of the opposite side of the street. Although I had never met an unfriendly dog in Telavi, and this dog couldn't have been more than thirty pounds, I still had a bad feeling about this particular pooch.

As I stepped forward the dark barked and jumped out of the gateway, straight towards my legs. Instinct told me to flee! Run away! Run away! But google had told me to stand still. I came to a dead stop and bent my knees, ready for the dog to pounce on me. I actually stopped so quickly I swayed back in the direction of the dog. This ended up freaking the dog out and it fell out of its lunge towards me, scrambling to get back to the gateway. I stood there for a moment, waiting to see if Fido would make a jump for me again. Thankfully it seemed content to defend its territory from the safety of its yard. I crossed the street calmly, but with haste and felt the tingling going up my spine the rest of the way to school.

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